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Why the Calgary Beer Scene is So Hot Right Now

Calgary breweries are a regular find in this beer-loving city. If you’re headed to Cowtown for a trip, make sure to check out these local microbreweries. 

Over the past few years, the local Calgary beer scene has really heated up. There’s been a rush of Calgary breweries and microbreweries opening, bringing in a whole new beer game for locals and guests alike to enjoy. 

If you’re in the downtown area of the city, it’s just as likely that you’ll find a brewery than a Starbucks—in fact with the rate of closure as of late, you’re probably more likely to run into one of the many Calgary breweries. 

Best Calgary Breweries to Visit 🍻

With so many local joints to grab a fresh beer in Calgary, how do you know where to start? We’ve got a few places for you to try out to experience the best of the trendy Calgary beer scene below. 

Cold Garden Beverage Company

Visit Cold Garden for a night out with friends in someone else’s garage

Set against the backdrop of Calgary’s historic Inglewood neighbourhood the Cold Garden Beverage Company takes unique microbreweries to a new level. Set up in a garage with mix-matched furniture, a pineapple disco ball and a retro snack dispenser, this is definitely a Calgary brewery not to be missed.

While you’re there, grab yourself a glass of Cakeface—a Marzen style made with vanilla beans. If you can’t make it to Cold Garden, you can find their brews on tap at a few local restaurants, including Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub, Craft Beer Market and the historic (and maybe haunted) Deane House.

Annex Ale Project

Head to Annex Ale Project for a great alcohol-free choices

Located in central SE Calgary, the Annex Ale Project is one of the best Calgary breweries out there. They have a taproom attached to the brewery so you can enjoy their creations fresh from the source. You can enjoy one of their brews with an “empire” burger, chicken or dog. And, if you want to get real wild, consider checking out their dirty fries. 🍟😉

Local Blogger Tip: Cat and Kev from For Two, Please recommend checking out Annex Ale Project if you’re looking to enjoy the local beer scene but want to keep it alcohol-free. They shared, “Calgary has no shortage of microbreweries, but there are not many that also excel in crafting alcohol-free drinks. Annex Ale Project takes it up a notch by making delicious sodas. Their spicy ginger beer is our favourite. Pungent and citrus-y, it is the perfect toast to summer!”

Why the Calgary Beer Scene is So Hot Right Now

Eighty-Eight Brewing Company

Jump in the time machine and spend the evening in the ’80s at Eighty-Eight

If you’re looking to travel back in time for a Calgary beer experience, then the Eighty-Eight Brewing Company located in the neighbourhood of Ramsey is your best bet. In their own words, “88 was a pretty damn good year,” and walking into this unique brewery will remind you of it.

With an 80s style set up and neon lights on the walls, you’ll be drinking your microbrew in style. Speaking of what to order, try the Tiffany Rosé Saison which they describe as a “dance-off between our Golden Ale and red wine grapes,” and can you go wrong with that? If you get there in time, pair it with some Noble Pie, a New York Style Pizza that’s so delicious it often sells out. 

During the Calgary Stampede is one of the best times to experience Calgary beer culture. Here’s our quick guide for making the most of it.

Last Best Brewing & Distilling

Grab a bite to eat and cheap beer at Last Best’s happy hour

Located in the heart of Calgary’s Beltline district at the corner of 6th and 11th Avenue, SW, Last Best Brewing & Distilling has a mixed elegance and industrial vibe. This Calgary brewery is owned by brewer Albeerta, who has three other locations in Banff, Edmonton, and Jasper.

If you’re headed to Last Best, plan your visit during their happy hour between 2 and 6 p.m. daily. You can get yourself a discount plate of chicken wings or hot pepperoni while you enjoy a glass of their very own Last Best IPA.

Trolley 5 Brewpub

Take a brewery tour at Trolley 5, and try some mac and cheese

Trolley 5 is another microbrewery located in Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood. It’s one of the beloved Calgary breweries that’s tucked safely on 17th Avenue—one of the cities busiest seats for those looking for a night out on the town. They’ve got some great products including their High Five IPA and the Conductor Beltline Lager.

While you’re there get an order of their daily jerky (flavours change weekly), their scrumptious mac and cheese and don’t forget the berry cheesecake for dessert. Their happy hour is daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and you can get yourself cheap eats and discount drinks (what more could you want?). 

If you’re looking for something a little more, you can actually take a brewery tour for $20. Simply head to their website to book one.

Why the Calgary Beer Scene is So Hot Right Now

Mill Street Brewery

Have an organic drink at Mill Street Brewery

The Mill Street Brewery is a few blocks away from my place, so I suppose you could call it my neighbourhood microbrewery. They have a beer for everyone, but a few local favourites include the West Coast Style IPA and the Organic Lager. 

You can catch their happy hour Monday to Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. where you can snag yourself some great food (like their pretzels with homemade dip) and “beer-infused libations.” And if you happen to be there on the weekend instead, check out their brunch every Saturday and Sunday. 

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The Dandy Brewing Company

Check out one of Calgary’s OG breweries at Dandy

The Dandy Brewing Company calls themselves “Calgary’s original little brewery.” You can find it on 2003 11th Street SE in the Ramsey neighbourhood, and their tasting room serves daily lunch and dinner. 

Dandy Brewing is not your typical neighbourhood pub! The food on the menu here includes elk tartare, smoked oyster spaghetti carbonara and welsh rabbit on bread. If you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience and want some locally brewed beer, this is the joint for you. While you’re there, check out The Dandy Wild Sour Ale or Dandy In The Underworld (their main beer).  

Wild Rose Brewery Ltd

Grab an elk burger and a beer at Wild Rose

While the Wild Rose Brewery isn’t one of the Calgary breweries that’s located in the city’s downtown core, it’s well worth the jaunt to the Currie Barracks. Their menu features a scrumptious list of food and drink items, and even goes so far as to recommend what you should try. 

If you’re in a burger mood, you might want to add their elk burger with a glass of Electric Avenue, their Alberta Blonde Ale to your list. Otherwise, they have a ton of beer and bites for you to try out. 

You can find Calgary breweries in two main areas of the city: The Beltline and Ramsey/Inglewood
Why the Calgary Beer Scene is So Hot Right Now

Where to Find Calgary Breweries

Most of the local breweries are located in Calgary’s inner city, with a few scattered about the surrounding areas. If you’re looking to run your own mini-brewery tour and want to do it on foot (highly recommended), then your best bet is to visit the following areas:

The Beltline where you’ll find breweries like Last Best, Goat Locker Brewing Company and Trolley 5 Brewpub. It’s a lively, trendy neighbourhood that’s located just south of the city’s downtown core. 

Ramsey/Inglewood where you’ll find Cold Garden, The Dandy Brewing Company and Inglewood Brewery. It’s a historic Calgary neighbourhood located just southeast of the city’s core.

However, you can find great Calgary breweries that are a short distance away from wherever you are in the city. 

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